Italy War Engagement During the Second World War Part 4
According to ACEINLAND.COM, the organization of various defensive lines marked with the letters of the alphabet was begun; the most important one, on which the enemy had to be stopped, was the line G (Gustav) which followed the course of the Garigliano-Rapido-Sangro, integrated by successive fortifications and coastal defense, completed by floods and the evacuation of civilians along a strip 5 km deep. from the front lines and from the coast.
The Anglo-Americans landed in Salerno and the furious counterattacks failed due to the influx of new vehicles, including armored vehicles and the formidable competition of the aviation and navy, the 8th army arrived from Calabria, for the fear that the German forces were cut off from the bulk of the 10th army, the German command gave up further attempts. The allied armies joined on the Calore on 16 September; the 8th continued towards Foggia where it joined its elements landed in Taranto and the 5th towards the Garigliano after having forced the Volturno. Naples and Foggia were occupied, the first with the help of the population, who had revolted against the Germans since 27 September, on 10 October 1943 The Allies had therefore achieved their first objective. They therefore set themselves the aim of conquering Rome and freeing most of the peninsula to give security to the logistic and air bases. Thus the 5th army (Tyrrhenian side) and the 8th (Adriatic side), flanked, tenaciously opposed by the Germans, coordinated their efforts for the continuation of the offensive. Arrested in front of Cassino (see, in this App.), Garigliano and Sangro (December 1943), they spent the whole winter in useless and bloody unrelated attacks, on a wide front, in which the 1st Italian motorized group participated, made up of volunteers, the first cell of the new army, then transformed into the Italian Liberation Corps, which heroically fought at Monte Lungo (see, in this App.) on 8 and 16 December. During them it was destroyed on February 15, 1944, from an aerial bombardment that did not seem justified, the historic abbey of Montecassino. The attacks were all tenaciously rejected and achieved only partial results due to the inclement weather, the serious road interruptions, the difficulties of the terrain organized for defense, the lack of units suitable for mountain warfare and the Germanic resistance. Having made a landing in Anzio (January 22, 1944) to contribute to the breaking of the Gustav line in Cassino and on the Garigliano (see Anzio, in this App.), The Allies saw themselves encapsulated by the German forces who rushed (initially 5, then 8 divisions) and violently counterattack; the maneuver entrusted to the 8th army, which was to focus on Pescara and therefore contribute to the operations on Rome for Popoli-Avezzano, in turn failed,
It is recalled that in the meantime attempts had been made for a reorganization of the fascist republican army. On 27 September 1943, Marshal R. Graziani had been hired as Minister of National Defense and had issued the provisions for the recruitment of forces. He managed to bring together 786,000 men (army 143,000, navy 26,000, air force 79,000, national guard 150,000, black brigades 6000, auxiliary volunteers 122,000, militarized workers 260,000). Germany undertook to set up and train 4 divisions which, sent to training camps, returned to Italy in the summer of 1944 (Monte Rosa, Littorio, San Marco, Italy divisions) and formed, together with German forces, the army of the Liguria under the orders of the same gen. Graziani. With the elements of the navy the X Mas was formed, then transformed into division; elements of the air force were incorporated into the army.
The decisive operations against the Gustav line were undertaken by winding up Cassino from the north and south to flow into the Liri valley, with the help of the forces landed at Anzio to cut communications south of Rome and the 8th army that should have focus on Pescara. General Kesselring, in turn, maneuvered for internal lines between Cassino and Anzio to use the scarce reserves and prepared to resist to the bitter end.
The offensive began on 12 May with the pre-eminent concurrence of French and Polish forces, and the Gustav line was finally broken on 16 May 1944. The 5th Army pursued vigorously; occurred on 25 May the joining with the forces landed in Anzio, passed the Alban Hills (2 June) and the Abruzzo Apennines, forced the resistance north of the Sangro, the 5th army occupied Rome on 4 June, and the 8th occupied Pescara at the end of the month. Occupied Rome, Kesselring withdrew in good order towards the Apennines, but of its 24 divisions 7 were by now worn out and another 7 lacking in cohesion. The pursuit of the Germans (also facilitated by the bridges of Rome, which remained intact) continued actively, albeit more difficult in the sector of the 8th Army, and led the allied forces, with the help of Italian and partisan units, to settle, after having occupied Florence (4 August) and after a momentary arrest at the turn of the Trasimeno, imposed by the Germans for the reconstitution of a continuous front between the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic (towards the end of August 1944) to the Gothic line, in the meantime prepared for defense (Garfagnana – Tuscan-Emilian Apennines – Marecchia river). Meanwhile, on 17 and 19 June, French troops of the gen. De Tassigny had occupied the island of Elba. The 5th army occupied Pisa on 2 September and Lucca on 3. De Tassigny had occupied the island of Elba. The 5th army occupied Pisa on 2 September and Lucca on 3. De Tassigny had occupied the island of Elba. The 5th army occupied Pisa on 2 September and Lucca on 3.